New Jersey State Bar Association - The voluntary Bar Association of New Jersey, serving members since 1899.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 02/20/08
CONTACT:Florence Nathan
NJSBF Director of Special Programs
732-937-7518

Gang Violence Program Slated for March 12

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Law enforcement officials estimate that there are some 700 gangs operating in New Jersey cities, suburbs and rural areas. Nearly 40 percent of total gang membership is reported to be in suburban communities, a four-fold increase in just five years. New Jersey’s largest city—Newark—is grappling with its highest homicide rate in 10 years, and much of it is attributed to gang violence. In 2006, the Union County Prosecutor’s Office reported that five in eight murders in Plainfield were gang-related.

In response to this growing social concern, the New Jersey State Bar Foundation and New Jersey State Bar Association, as well as the NJSBA Criminal Law Section and ICLE, will sponsor a conference on gangs and violence prevention on Wednesday, March 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at the New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick. The free half-day conference will explore how New Jersey is addressing gang violence.

A Distinguished Panel

“From Wannabes to Youth Offenders: How Gangs are Permeating New Jersey Communities and What Intervention Efforts Can Stem the Violence,” will feature a distinguished panel including moderator Ray Brown, host of NJN Due Process, and panelists Ronald Casella, Cumberland County prosecutor and president of the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey; U.S. District Court Judge Katharine Sweeney Hayden; former New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey; Michael J, Marucci, Deputy Public Defender of the Essex County Office of the Public Defender; Former Chief Judge Julien X. Neals, municipal court, Newark; Aidan O’Connor, U.S. Attorney’s Office; First Assistant Attorney General John Vazquez; and Essex County Presiding Judge Donald Volkert. In addition, Junius W. Williams, Esq., director of the Abbott Leadership Institute at Rutgers University, Newark, will deliver the conference’s keynote address.

The distinguished panel will discuss the problem of gangs and gang violence, its impact on New Jersey communities, law enforcement responses to gang violence and prevention efforts that can intervene and keep young people from the influence of gangs.

Attorneys attending the conference can receive trial attorney and PA and NY CLE credits. Teachers who attend the conference can receive professional development hours.

Space is Limited

While the program is free, registration is required, and will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For additional information, or to register, contact Florence Nathan, director of special programs, at 732-937-7518 or fnathan@njsbf.org.

—NJSBF—

Directions: From the NJ Turnpike take Exit 9 to Route 18 North. Follow signs for Route 1 South to Ryders Lane-New Brunswick. The Law Center is the first right turn off Ryders Lane. From Princeton take Route 1 North to the second Ryders Lane Exit (Ryders Lane-New Brunswick). The Law Center is the first right turn.